Okinawa Marines report 15 new coronavirus cases as infections ease in Tokyo

People wear masks as they stroll Takeshita Street, a pedestrian area lined with fashion boutiques, cafes and eateries in Harajuku, Tokyo, Monday, July 27, 2020.


By STARS AND STRIPES Published: August 2, 2020

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TOKYO — Japan’s capital recorded 292 new coronavirus cases on Sunday, a sharp drop after three consecutive days of record-breaking numbers.

The same day, the Marine Corps on Okinawa announced 15 new infections linked to a pair of clusters that broke out at Camp Hansen and Marine Corps Air Station Futenma after the Fourth of July weekend.

Cases in Tokyo have been on the rise since a nationwide state of emergency was lifted at the end of May. The city counted an all-time daily high of 472 infections on Saturday, 463 on Friday and 367 on Thursday.

Tokyo now has 13,455 confirmed coronavirus cases, according to national broadcaster NHK.

The new Marine cases on Okinawa “were previously identified as close contacts of individuals who tested positive or were required to test to exit [quarantine],” according to a Marine Corps statement issued Sunday.

Thirteen are from Camp Hansen; two are from MCAS Futenma.

“These 15 individuals have been in quarantine for over a week and were identified as a result of our policy to test all individuals prior to release from [quarantine] or due to close contact with a known positive,” the statement said.

On Saturday, the Marine Corps announced that eight people — seven from Camp Hansen and one from MCAS Futenma — had tested positive. Also that day, nearby Kadena Air Base announced one new infection. “This person had no contact with the on- or off-base community,” an 18th Wing statement said.

Thirteen people in Okinawa’s Marine community recovered from the illness over the weekend, according to the service.

Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike issued a warning Saturday in an online video, urging people to wash their hands, wear masks and visit businesses that display special city-backed stickers with the image of a rainbow, which indicates good social distancing.

Japan’s coronavirus death toll stood at 1,026 as of Saturday, according to the Kyodo news agency. No deaths were reported on Sunday.


People wear masks as they stroll the grounds of Yasukuni Shrine in central Tokyo, Monday, July 27, 2020.